For the love of Summer: Episode 04

De-Stressing Summer Fashion with ModCloth’s  Lizz Wasserman

School’s out, the pool/beach/lake is calling, and vacation is just around the corner. For many of us, summer fashion means flip flops, sundresses and living in our bathing suits. For others, summer clothing choices, where often “less is more,” can cause a case of the summer blues.  Today’s guest gives us pro-tips that will help EVERY body to make fun, fashionable and affordable summer choices for all the things we love about summer. Lizz Wasserman is VP of Fashion at ModCloth, a forward thinking clothing and accessories company who endeavors to make fun, beautiful clothes for women of every shape, size and pocketbook. Jen and Lizz discuss common summer clothing challenges, how to create a summer capsule wardrobe, and the miracle bathing suit that looks good on just about everyone (Jen has it in four colors!). We also learn that by simplifying our summer wardrobes to just a few key clothing items that make us feel our best, we can have that easy and breezy summer we've always dreamed of.

Transcript from the show

Narrator:  Hi everybody, my name is Remy. Welcome to the For the Love Podcast, with your host Jen Hatmaker, my mom. She writes books and speaks to crowds. But she mostly loves talking to amazing people, every week, on this podcast. Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy the show.
Jen:  Hey everybody, it is Jen Hatmaker, your very happy hostess of the For the Love Podcast. We're in a fun series too, you guys. We are right in the middle of “For The Love of Summer.”

I have recently understood about myself that I'm actually a summer person. I've always said I'm a fall person, and I am in a lot of ways. But I really . . . I have come to understand that I live for summer, so I love this series.

And I'm excited to introduce you to our guest today. She's going to be new to you, but I bet her company is not.

On the show today, we have Lizz Wasserman. And I think she has one of the coolest jobs ever, you guys. She's the VP of fashion at ModCloth. Okay, you know about ModCloth, right? You’ve heard me talk about a lot. I've been a ModCloth fan for years, like, literally years. So this is ModCloth, land of adorable swimsuits and printed skirts and all these really feminine, vintage-inspired clothes. They have it by decades, '50s, '60s, '70s. So, so darling. And you've heard me talk about it, and you've definitely seen me wear their stuff.

Listen, if it wasn't enough that I made you spend your kids’ college fund on summer reading books with last week's podcast with Anne, now, I'm sorry to tell you, we are here luring you back in with really fun, beautiful summer clothes that you will feel fabulous. So I'm a little bit sorry, but I'm not that sorry, because this is a really cool person doing really cool things.

Lizz grew up in Milwaukee, but she lives in Los Angeles now. She's worked in some pretty hot places in fashion. Before she came into ModCloth, she was at Urban Outfitters and Free People. OMG, you guys, Free People. Love. She even started her own sustainable clothing line. Isn't that awesome?

Here's why I wanted to talk to Lizz today, you guys. ModCloth, they really are one of my favorite brands because they focus on creating clothes that help women really feel like the best version of themselves. That's actually one of their mantras. I didn't just make that up. They're really passionate about female empowerment and inclusivity, and their clothes are extremely adorable. They're budget-friendly. Hello, you can buy them from your couch—ModCloth is almost entirely online.

And you will hear me say it in this podcast that Lizz shocks me by telling me she has two storefronts, and one of them is in Austin. I had no idea. But I already have one of their swimsuits in four different patterns, so I'm like already pretty much in.

ModCloth also, you guys, they have plus sizes. This is for everybody. It's for everybody's body, it's for everybody's price point. So Lizz is the perfect person to talk about summer fashion, and we're going to cover it all: the best swimsuit for your body type, what to wear to barbecues, what to wear to outdoor weddings, road trip essentials, accessories. We're literally covering everything you need to know about summer clothes. She's going to give us the 411.

And do not worry if you're listening in the car or at the gym. I will always have everything we talk about linked over my website at jenhatmaker.com under the Podcast tab, so you do not have to pull over or stop doing squats. So you are welcome.

Okay you guys, help me welcome to the show Lizz.,,,
Jen: Lizz, welcome to the podcast. I'm so happy to have you.

Lizz: Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited.

Jen: I know. I am too because it's no big surprise that I love ModCloth. I love your company, I love your clothes, I've got a bunch of them.

So I just told our audience a little bit about you and your role at ModCloth. In my opinion, it feels like to me, you have one of the coolest jobs in the universe. So I wonder if you would tell us a little bit about your path. How did you get here? Did you always love fashion? Was this always what you saw yourself doing? How did you get all the way to VP of Fashion at ModCloth?

Lizz: Yeah. I have always been into fashion, but I don't think I realized what it was. I had always loved dressing to the beat of my own drum. And I'm one of those people that made clothes even at the age of 3, and I was always drawing. But I never really thought that it could be a job, or a job for somebody like me. So then basically, I was always really interested in like poli sci and sociology, but I started realizing that I was really interested in how subcultures and alternative cultures presented themselves and started realizing that I was really into clothes.

Then after college, when I was waiting to hear about a Fulbright for sociology, I talked my way into a job at Urban Outfitters. I basically got a job in the home office with the designers, just opening packages, tracking packages, and helping them talk to the factory. Then one of the designers quit. And I drew my way into an assistant designer role and learned everything on the job there, and just really fell in love with it, and started to realize not only could it be a job but it could be my job.

Jen: Wow. I'm so curious. You say you “drew your way in.” Did you just casually slide this across the desk? That was a pretty bold move. I like it.

Lizz: Yeah. I made this crazy book. It was like a book collage that had all this imagery and all these different clothing ideas. It was Urban and Free People, they were kind of one at the time. And it was also . . . this is the early aughts, so it wasn't such a computer time, so I definitely made the whole thing by hand. Yeah, then I handed it to the woman that would become my mentor there, so yeah.

Jen: Okay. That's amazing. I'm curious on that awesome timeline, had you already gone to school and studied poli sci? Or had you already gotten to the other side of your education before you swapped this up?

Lizz: Yeah. I had already graduated from college. That was my first job outside of college.

Jen: What did you tell your parents, like, "Guys, thank you for that awesome degree. I'm going to go into fashion"?

Lizz: Yeah. My parents are also academics and write books, and they were like basically, "What are you doing? That's so silly."

Jen: I'm sure. Right.

Lizz: It took a couple of years.

Jen: Yeah. They just love where you're at now. And it's not silly, and we're going to get into it. I actually love your work so much.

Just for everybody listening, can you just tell us briefly what does being the VP of Fashion of ModCloth, what does that mean? What do you do? What do you do day in and day out?

Lizz: At ModCloth, what that means is I oversee and help build the design team.

So ModCloth used to be an amazing collection of vintage pieces from other brands. And for the past couple of years, we've been working on creating our own line. So with that, we really listened to the community and we really looked at vintage. But we also want to make things that take vintage into your life right now. We've got a really talented and amazing design team.

Also, what the team works on is, we do trend and concept across the whole site. And we get to do amazing research and presentations about what our customer, our girl, our community will be thinking about in like a year and a half from now. And we tell the story, as well as doing the research and the silhouettes. And then we do these, I think, pretty great presentations where we take the buying and marketing team on that journey with us.

Jen: Yeah. Oh my gosh, I love it. I can tell by looking at your clothes that you deeply listen to your customers, to your buyers. That's been my experience with everything I've ever gotten from your company.

Listen, it's summer. It's a super fun season for a lot of reasons, but including fashion. Summer fashion is really fun. A ton of us, we love to be outside. We love to play in the sun, we're at the beach, we're at the lake. But a lot of women struggle with showing our bodies, so much of our bodies, or feeling cute in a swimsuit, right?

In my opinion, I think ModCloth does a great job helping women feel really lovely, no matter their size, no matter their shape. This is really what you do well. You've listened, and I think you pay attention to women's bodies.

So I wonder, could you talk about what are a couple of summer wardrobe challenges that ModCloth has tried to provide a solution for?

Lizz: Totally. I love that you call them “wardrobe challenges” because at ModCloth, we definitely think that everybody's body is beautiful and wonderful. So there's not any . . . there's never any problems with a body. There's just problems with clothes.

When I think about summer wardrobe challenges, I think about the problem of being in the office and the air-conditioning is blasting, but then the minute you step outside, you're dying. So cardigans. Cardigans are great for the summer. We have a new one that's super cute called the Layer Lover Cardigan. It's got a nice printed chiffon back and cute contrast, so you can wear it now and at the end of fall.
Then also, all of our Charter School Cardigans are just a dream, and I personally love the one with the rainbow buttons.
Jen: Cute.

Lizz: All right. Then the other challenge I would say is looking polished and put together when it is just impossibly hot. So for that, I think jumpsuits are really great. We've got our Unbridled Enthusiasm, the wide-leg jumpsuit. It's super flowy. Basically everybody in the office is obsessed with this jumpsuit.
Then the other one that we're all rocking is the Every Waking Momentum Jumpsuit that comes in this great olive that's actually a linen blend, linen and cotton. So it's super comfortable and breathable, but also just looks great and you can dress it up and dress it down.
Then the other thing I would say is sometimes it's not even about looking polished—you just need to be comfortable or maybe are going to the beach and just can't even. So I would say knit dresses for those occasions. And the Sway That Again, which is like a shorter dress. Then we also have the Grecian Weekend Knit Maxi . Those are two that are really easy to dress up or dress down, but also just be super comfortable and wipe sand off of.
Jen:  Absolutely. I literally just, maybe two weeks ago, bought the In Your Nature Maxi Dress.
Lizz: Yes, so cute.

Jen: The one with all the cactuses, the cactus all over it. First of all, it is so comfortable and it has pockets, so I'm already dead. If it has pockets, just take all my money. Every time I wear it, people are just freaking out over it. And it's so flowy. You are exactly right.

When it's so hot—and of course, I'm here in Texas, and so it's as hot as the surface of the sun. But I love that you mention the cardigans because if anybody is like we are, we keep it at 68 degrees inside. It's freezing. I'm in my house right now, and I'm under a blanket. It's so true that you need something to take you from an indoor environment out to the heat. Those are really, really great suggestions.

Okay. What are some of the summer trends that you are just overjoyed to see right now? You just love them, you're telling everybody about them, you're wearing them yourself. What's the favorite thing that you're seeing?

Lizz: In accessories, it's definitely all about those baskets or woven bags. So we have some really cute ones that I think you would love. We've got the Spark Spontaneity Bag that comes with that gray circle handle.  Then we've got the Collectif Comes and Flamingos little bag that's great for the beach.
And then combining two trends, the Buzzing About Blossoms little handbag that you can make into a clutch is both wicker and gingham, so it's just good to go.
Then I'm all about slides. I'm all about mules in the winter and slides in the summer. And I totally bought the Trot With Knots Slide Sandal, which is super cute in gingham and just looks great with jeans or a little bit more dressed up.
Then the Beach Expertise Slide is really cute with a green woven leather.
And then I’m all about fringe and slides, so if you can put them together, that's perfect. We've got Your Closest Fringe Slide Sandal , which is really adorable and just what you want to wear.
Jen: I have never in my life seen fringe I didn't love, so I already know 100% that that's up my alley. You know what I made the mistake of doing is, before you and I hopped on the podcast, I went over to find out the name of the dress that I just bought. And while I was there, I’m like, Let me just have a little click on the shoes. Let me just have a little look. Oh my gosh. So many cute summer shoes right now, and they're fun.

First of all, to everybody listening, don't worry about all these quick names that Lizz is dropping. We're going to have all of this linked. Every last little thing she's mentioned, we will have a link to it and a picture of it over on the transcript, so don't worry about it if you're working out or whatever.

One thing I want people to do once they go to your website, which they're going to, is to see how fun your clothes are, and how fun your shoes are, and how fun your accessories are. Your brand is so vintage and it's so retro and it's so colorful and whimsical. To me, it's just a perfect summer look. And I've never ever had anything from your company that I did not absolutely love, and that is the truth.

What's your favorite summer print this summer? Do you have a favorite print?

Lizz: It's so hard to pick because our print designer is so incredibly talented. And also, we live for print over here. But I do love a bunch of the hand-painted florals. The Awaken Your Enthusiasm Dress has this beautiful hand-painted floral on a midi swing dress. And then you can also get that same print in teal on a tank, so just kind of obsessed with that one.
But honestly, we're known for our prints so I can't . . . it's like the children question.

Jen: Oh my gosh. Totally.

Where do you get your inspiration? This is under your umbrella. Do you just get it from everywhere? Who are you looking towards? Who do you follow? Who do you . . . What are you watching that you love, or is that from everywhere?

Lizz: It's really from everywhere. I feel like, and I'm sure you feel the same way, but being just kind of open to inspiration as it hits you. I find reading, and being engaged, and just always making sure that you get off the couch and go check it out in person, and explore leads to the great inspirational moments. And also, just reading The New York Times from cover to cover, I always find it leads to a lot of thinking about the world and what's going on and how big the world is.

Jen: That's good. I like that. The world actually has a lot to give us in terms of not just inspiration, but design inspiration. I know the last time I was in Uganda, we were in the market, in the marketplace. Literally, it is the African version of ModCloth. It is so vibrant. There is no such thing as a plain print. There is no plain anything. It is prints, and it is colors. And it is bold and bright and green and yellow and orange. It's just so fun to look at.

I remember being in the market thinking, That's it. Why am I wearing black all the time? We're going to wear green with orange stripes. The world has a lot to give us and I, as a writer, I completely understand what you're saying. Just paying attention.

Lizz: That's so cool that you—

Jen: Yeah.

Lizz: That's all the barkcloth, right?

Jen: Yeah, exactly.

Lizz: That's so cool. I love that stuff. That's so beautiful.

Jen: Yeah.

Lizz: Why were you in Uganda?

Jen: My husband and I, we do a lot of work over in Eastern Africa. Our youngest two children are adopted from Ethiopia.

Lizz: Wow.

Jen: We are in that part of the world quite a bit. We're very connected to development work over there and women's empowerment. And plus, it's just such a beautiful part of the world. We actually, we love those cultures and we love the people. There's just nothing like being in a marketplace watching these women. And then of course they'll sew your clothes, just tailor-made on the spot. It's just so fun.

Lizz: That's amazing.

Jen: Yeah. Fashion is everywhere, and women the whole world over love to look beautiful. And they love clothes that fit well and make them feel lovely. So I love that you got your . . . that have your eyes open, that you're paying attention. I try to do the exact same thing.

In my opinion, I think one of the places that ModCloth shines the brightest has to be your swimsuits, which is no small thing to say. This is normally an area where a lot of women are like, Ughhhh! My listeners know this because I made a big deal about it literally for probably the last three years.

I own four different Beach Blanket Bingo Swimsuits in four different colors. I love it.
Lizz: That is awesome.

Jen: It's my favorite swimsuit I've ever had.

Lizz: Do you wear the one-piece or the bikini?

Jen: I wear the one-piece.

Lizz: So cute.

Jen: It's so cute. It's so flattering. It's like a person made that swimsuit thinking about an actual woman that was going to wear it. I love them all, every single one of them, so I do bless you for that.

Can you tell us about your swimsuits a little bit? First of all, what suits should we be looking for, maybe according to our body type? Or how would you counsel us? Because I super love that you said there's no problem body. Not at all. There's just the matter of finding the right suit for your body.

How would you guide us to come to the swimsuit page and start thinking about what we should be looking for?

Lizz: Yeah. First of all, I'm so happy that you love that suit. It's a personal favorite too.

And I think that for everybody, with swimsuits, it's really just about personal preference. One thing that the social team did I think for June that was so awesome is we had a social influencer takeover on the Site of Swim. And I think you can still see it on our site in the Swim Guide. But we had these beautiful women of all sizes, from all over, just talking about what they love about suits and what's important to them, which I found really just awesome because I think swimsuits especially is kind of a solitary search, right? You're just looking by yourself.

Some of my personal favorites that I think the team has just done a great job on: the Here Comes the Ruffle One-Piece is super cute. And it has a nice surplice, so I feel like that's a good way to show off a variety of busts, as well as defining a waist.
Then the Waterfront Flaunt High-Waisted Bikini is a new style that's like totally retro and adorable and comes in kind of a slightly puckered gingham. Yeah, so that one is really cute.
Then the one that you love I think is amazing too, and also in the bikini. The Beach Bingo is amazing, especially in that new black and metallic dot. Do you have that one?
Jen: I sure do.

Lizz: Awesome.

Jen: I'll tell you right now. If you think you can get me into a bikini, you're not just a fashion guru, you are a wizard. You are maybe a sorcerer. I used to love bikinis, but those days are behind me. But you have it all on there. You've got all kinds of two-pieces and one-pieces, so really no matter what anybody's preference is, you've got something for it, for sure.

Lizz: Yeah definitely. And one-pieces are super sexy, so I feel like it's just about how people want to rock it.

Jen: Yeah I agree. I think I'm seeing them everywhere too. They're really trendy this year anyway. And so I actually feel great in those swimsuits, I really do. And we are lake people, so I'm in that swimsuit three-fourths of my summer, so basically that's my summer wardrobe, and I thank you for it.

Lizz: That's awesome.

Jen: Listen, we've got a function to go to. We've got something that's outside, so it's just a horrible placement. If I'm going to go to a summer barbecue outside or a dinner party or I'm going to a summer wedding, what do I need to look really cute but not just be so uncomfortable with too many layers or too much clothes or whatever? What are some options for that?

Lizz: Since you're in Texas, I'll start with the one that I'd advise for surviving the humidity. The style that you had mentioned before with the cactuses, the In Your Nature Maxi Dress.

Jen: Yup.

Lizz: We have that in a new print, in a black with like a multicolored star.
Jen: I know.

Lizz: It's so pretty.

Jen: It's so cute.

Lizz: It's just this really lightweight cotton. It moves like magic, and it's super glamorous. But you could also wear it later with sandals, so it would be like a good beach wedding or good garden party wedding. I love that dress. I'm obsessed.

Then the other option that I would say is the Spotlight Satisfaction Dress that just launched, I think, yesterday. This is a dress, I was in India and I kept seeing these beautiful cotton Lurex fabrics. And the production team probably wants to kill me because this one was a nightmare, but it turned out beautifully. And it's breathable cotton but then it has this great Lurex stripes running through it, so it just glistens. And it's a great piece that you could wear now, you could wear it through the winter. It's fantastic.
If you live maybe more in the Midwest or on one of the coasts where it's super hot during the day but then a little bit cooler at night, the Elegant Everywhere Jumpsuit is magic. It looks incredible. It is so flattering, so glamorous, so sophisticated, so cool. I think everybody should own this piece. That just looks great, but it's a little bit heavier. So I could see being hot if it's like 102 and 90% humidity.
Jen: Right.

Lizz: Then the Awaken Your Enthusiasm Dress, which I mentioned earlier, has a great like ruffle cape detail and it's just so pretty. And the colors are really striking. But it's not cotton. It's a really nice poly chiffon so it is lightweight and it does breathe, but that would definitely may be more of a transitional if you just know you're going to sweat.
Jen: Yes. I love that. As you're speaking, I'm pulling up the jumpsuit. I'm looking at it on my computer.

Lizz: You got to get the jumpsuit. It is so good.

Jen: It's so good. I like it. It's fashion-forward but so movable. That's just the thing. We just have to be comfortable in the summer. It's already uncomfortable just being outside. And so all of these that are so flowy and they give so much breathing room but they're so beautiful to look at, that's exactly what we need.
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Jen: Okay, how about this? Let's talk about summer road trips. A lot of us are taking them. Most of us love them.

Lizz: Yeah.

Jen: What should we pack for a summer road trip? Is there anything we typically overlook that we shouldn't? How would you advise us in that place?

Lizz: Road trips are super interesting because you basically have to pack a lot for a little. Then you might be in varying . . . I just went on one up the coast. Each night, it was basically a different vibe, so packing for that can always be a challenge. But I like to pack some workhorse bottoms, so things that you can definitely wear multiple times without having to wash them. And then it also goes with multiple styles.

I love the Hello, Halifax High-Waisted Pants. They're like a wide-legged striped pants. Super cute.  Then also, our Karaoke Seamstress in black, which you could totally dress up if you wanted to go to dinner or something.
Then I'm a fan of classic vintage t-shirts when I travel, just because it's so easy. So I love, love, love our Relax Throwback Ringer Tee, which is navy with like a classic green. It's so cute. And we'll be redoing this style in a bunch of new colors too.
Then we've also got the Laid-Back on Track T-Shirt which is just like a . . . it's the same silhouette but it's in a great stripe.
Then I think packing a super easy maxi dress is always great, because that's a thing that you can wear to dinner or that's a thing that you pull on over the swimsuit when you go take a stop at a beach. The Inspired Spirit Floral Maxi is so beautiful. It's a great print, super flattering cut. I love that style.
Then a jacket for those nights where you just need to throw something over. I'm super into the Hues Your Imagination Embroidered Bomber. That's our rainbow linen blend bomber that just adds a little bit of joy maybe to the slightly more safe outfit of t-shirt and jeans.
Then we also have a road-trip-inspired piece which is our Lighthearted Cartographer, a linen blend little romper. So cute, and if you look carefully, it shows a road trip and like a path through the desert.
Jen: My gosh, that's so cute. I love when you guys continuously pick these whimsical prints. I did not expect to buy a dress covered in cactus this summer on your website. What was I going to do? Not have it? Those are great ideas.

Lizz: That came from the road-trip-inspired collection, so that's a perfect thing for you to bring in your road trip.

Jen: Yeah.

Lizz: Very Texas too.

Jen: Very Texas, because one of the other prints on that dress is, I think it has snakes? And am I doing this right? It's very like deserty-looking. Okay, I didn't even pick on that. I love it.

Lizz: That one's a bit of a safari. I think there's zebras and all the creatures.
Jen: I like that. I don't think we have to be so precious about everything. Sometimes, fashion gets presented to us in a way that is so sterile and everything has to be so utilitarian. I don't know. I get the place for that. I understand staple pieces that you want to be really interchangeable. But sometimes, you want a dress that has cactus on it. So I like that when you want a punch of whimsy and fun, there's no end of it over at ModCloth.

I'm interested by the concept of a capsule wardrobe. And you really almost just handed this one in the road trip description, that was really actually useful. But just this idea of “set it and forget it” kind of clothing rotation. I wonder if you could talk a little bit more about that? If we were thinking, Okay, I want to have a summer capsule wardrobe of sorts just to minimize all the thinking, but to maximize style—if you were going to just pull together your key pieces or suggest to us, what would you say?

Lizz: Yeah. I love that you asked this question, especially because I feel like ModCloth is known for its prints and standout pieces. But we also have a lot of these pieces that you'll turn to again and again. And I feel like mixing in those poppy, whimsical prints with these pieces that you'll just turn to every single time you need to get dressed.

I'm a super fan of capsule dressing. In an ideal world, I'd be wearing the same thing every day, but that's just not going to happen in my life. And I would also not really like that but I pretend.

For me, you start with the striking blouse. So we have some like really amazing ones. I'm currently obsessed with the Crocheting on Display Collared Blouse that has a beautiful daisy detail and is a nice dobby rayon.
Then the Romantic Reminder Long Sleeve Top is that like trend-right piece with the bell sleeve and a really great retro print.
Then the Tied and Succeeded 3/4 Sleeve Top is in a fantastic cupro with a great sleeve detail.
I feel like once you have your striking blouses, you could have those in solids or in prints. I think for capsule dressing, so that you don't get super bored, it's good to look to what's going on right now so that you can shift over time, but maintain having to wear in, wear out. I'm all about the wide-leg pant right now. I love it in crop, and I love it in long.

Our Call It Confidence Wide-Legged Cropped Pants are super nice. They're in a great textured fabric. They come in rust and navy, which are super easy and go back to all the blouses I mentioned and probably a bunch of things everyone has in their closet already.
Then I love the Eugene Pant in dotted navy. It's just super easy, but it comes in a bunch of different prints.
Then I think those are things that you can wear now, but then as you look towards the fall, layering in.

Our Charter School Sweaters are basically . . . I think everybody should buy them in bulk. They're super easy, super flattering, great colors, great silhouettes. They come in short sleeve, long sleeve, cardigan, they're just adorable.
Charter School Sweaters: Short Sleeve | Long Sleeve | Cardigan
Then our Timeless Essence Car Coat is just fantastic. It comes in black and it's easy to throw over.
And then I think you're done.

Jen: That's it. I like this. We're overthinking clothes, aren't we? We're all just doing too much. When you get these really good staple pieces that are flattering and easy to mix and match . . .

This is just an aside. So I did a project. I'm laughing because you said you'd like to wear the same thing every day if the world would let you do it. I did a project a few years ago called Seven. It was me just trying to sort out how we have too much of everything. One of the months, we did this very wild experiment with our family. But one of the months was on clothes.

For the month, for an entire month, my family, we wore the same seven pieces of clothes for the whole month.

Lizz: That's awesome.

Jen: You know what, it was awesome. I remember going into that project thinking, The month that we tackle clothes is going to be really hard for me. That's the same seven pieces of clothes. I did practically wear the same thing every single day. And instead, it was amazing. I loved it. Absolutely no thinking, on it went, it saves tiny little pile of laundry. I did not miss it at all.

Lizz: That's so cool.

Jen: I think there is something to this idea of simplifying down to just a handful of things that mix and make you feel beautiful. You don't have to have 80 pieces of clothes in your closet.

Lizz: While I think that's true and I love that—when I pack for going to Asia for work or going on any trips for work or even vacation, I pack extremely tight, and everything works well with each other. And sometimes, I just have a backpack even for like almost a week-long trip.

Jen: Wow.

Lizz: I love that practicality. But then I also know myself. And I think my last purchase was, I found a velvet Moroccan dress with gold embroidery detailing. And I was like, What is this doing here? It obviously needs to come home with me. I think it's all about balance.

Jen: You are a VP at ModCloth, so you obviously cannot not want to have some sort of crushed velvet number. This is a part of your DNA.

Lizz: Occupational hazard, yeah.

Jen: Speaking of special pieces like that—let's say somebody gives us an amazing gift card, or we're in the mood to splurge on a really awesome clothing piece. Maybe specifically something we are going to keep. We're going to keep it forever. We're going to wear it for 20 years. Okay. Well, I don't wear anything for 20 years but let's just say.

Lizz: I love that.

Jen: What would you say are the best investment pieces? Maybe they're going to cost a hair more, but they're going to have a really long leash. They're going to last us a long time. We're going to be glad we have them. They're classic.

Lizz: I love that you ask this question. Because I feel like for those of us that love fashion but also just want to make sure that we're not contributing to waste, I do think everything at ModCloth that we're working on the internal line is really well-made. We really consider the fabric. We're not making trendoid pieces. We really want women to keep everything for a long time.

I love your question. So the four pieces that I feel, right now, I would just snap up on the site and wear them forever . . .

One would be that Spotlight Satisfaction, the cotton dress with Lurex, because I feel like it's a classic shape in a really striking fabric. But because it's in black, you could wear it for years and people would always just be like, "That's a great dress", and you'd be like, "Thanks. I've been wearing it for seven years."
Jen: Totally.

Lizz: Then the next one would be Sweet Sophistication Blazer, which is a linen blend.
Jen: Yeah.

Lizz: It's a classic cut blazer, and it just has a little ruffle detail. And it does come in white. But I feel like it is a great throw-on blazer to just add little femininity if you're wearing a silk shell and some jeans, or if you have a meeting, or if you just want to like look polished on the preschool drop-off. It's just perfect.

Then the Savannah Pant. Okay, this pant is incredible. It is so high quality, it is so fantastic, it is so flattering. So we have it in navy, and this fall we're rolling out a bunch of different colors and patterns in it. I have a pair of Armani pants that are similar. And when I bought these, I was like, I no longer need these Armani. They are not as nice as the ModCloth ones.
Jen: Wow. What's the shape of them? What kind of pant are they?

Lizz: They have a slight pleat in the front, and then they're a straight wide-leg. So it's really striking, but it's pretty easy to wear. And while it's on-trend right now, it's a classic shape.

Jen: Yeah.

Lizz: Then the other thing I think women could do—they come really long, so that you can hem them to where you want. I'm going to get a second pair this fall and hem them a little bit shorter so they're ankle-length so I've got the look, but it's also just a little easier.

Then the Force to Be Beckoned With Sandal in Cherry is a leather sandal that we carry. I've bought this every other year because I wear them down. I can still totally wear the other pair, but it’s a great sandal. You don't need to get a pedicure, which is always key.
Jen: Yay, right?

Lizz: Then you can wear it with a dress or you can just wear it super casual, so those four pieces.

Jen: Okay. All right. Awesome. You guys, we’ll have every bit of this on the website so you can peruse.

One thing that is so cool that I didn't know you guys had until recently is that we, your customers, we can talk to a ModCloth stylist for free. I did not know about this. And I probably should know about it because I'll probably use it.

But tell us about this service. What do your remote stylists provide for their customers? And is this a place to call for having a fashion emergency? How can we use this?

Lizz: You can really use it in any way that you need to use it. These women and men are . . . these are fantastic people that love the brand as much as you do and know everything about the clothes.

You could call and say, "I'm interested in the Spotlight Sophistication Dress, but it says the bust has no stretch. Would you mind checking the medium and the large for me to tell me what the bust measurement is?" They can do that.

You could also call them and say, "I'm getting married in three weeks, and I need to dress 11 bridesmaids. Can you please send me some recommendations for both my wedding dress and all the bridesmaids' dresses?"

You can call them and say, "Look, I just lost or gained 50 pounds, and nothing fits. If I was going to build a capsule [wardrobe], what should I do?"

They're amazing, and they're so kind, and they do really wonderful things. I think totally take advantage of it.

Jen: That is so fantastic. I, personally, my favorite way to shop is from my couch, so this is already in my wheelhouse. If there is an issue, that's the one—I just need somebody to tell me what this looks like on or is this for tall girls? Everything is always too short on me always.

Lizz: Must be nice.

Jen: I know. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. When you were saying, “The pants come long,” I'm like, Oh my gosh. Finally, somebody cares about us. But that's a thing. I would just love a human person to maybe walk me through a couple of questions I have about it or make recommendations. I actually think that's a wonderful service. That's you guys being good to your customers and taking some of the guesswork out of online shopping.

Lizz: It's also great for us because we also get feedback really quickly. And when people write to us, thanking the Mod stylist for their help or giving us feedback, we share that internally so that we all get better. It's really a two-way street. But yeah, we love our community. So it's great to have the Mod stylists be at the forefront of talking to them.

And they're in all of our stores too. We have a store in Austin, and then we just opened our San Francisco store.

Jen: Okay, wait a minute. You have a store in Austin?

Lizz: Did you not know this?

Jen: No, I did not know this. I thought you were entirely online.

Lizz: No. We have two stores. Where are you in Texas?

Jen: I'm in Austin.

Lizz: No! This is crazy.

Jen: I can't believe it.

Lizz: Yeah. At the stores, you can get totally fit. You can get all of your measurements, and we can enter in the system so it will be even easier to shop in the future. We have all of the clothes that we have in-store are our exclusive, full-size-range clothes. And then the Mod stylist there can also help you. They'll do a fitting with you. You can call in anything that you want to try on, and run down there and try on before you make the purchase.

Jen: Oh my gosh.

Lizz: They can also pull things for you that they think you'll like, based on your order history. It's an amazing experience. I love going to the stores.

Jen: Oh my gosh. I'm telling you right now. Somewhere in this house, my husband's ears just went on fire. That's great. Do you have plans to expand your storefronts?

Lizz: We do. It's exciting, but that's all I can say.

Jen: “That's all I can say.” You'd have to kill us, but it's good to know that maybe coming soon to a city near you is a ModCloth store.

Lizz: Yes.

Jen: That's very wonderful. In the meantime, the online experience is also great and easy and fast. I love knowing this. I'm thrilled to know that, actually.

Let me wrap this up with you. These are questions that we ask all of our guests in the Summer series, so you could just fire them off just as quick as you can think of them.

Okay. For you, what's your favorite summer drink?

Lizz: I'm four months pregnant, so I am searching for the ultimate mocktail, but nothing. Nothing is as good as what I'm missing.

Jen: I'm so sorry about that, but also, congratulations on being pregnant!

Lizz: Thank you.

Jen: Is this your first baby?

Lizz: No, it's my second.

Jen: How old is your oldest?

Lizz: He turns 3 on Saturday.

Jen: Oh my gosh. You're going to have a 3-year-old and a baby. It's so fun, and you'll just be in the weeds, and it's fine. You're going to make it.

Lizz: It's going to be a wonderful disaster.

Jen: That's exactly what having babies and toddlers is. It's just a wonderful disaster. That's so great.

I am so positive that I can find you a great mocktail, and I'm going to send it to you.
Lizz: Okay, please. I need help.

Jen: Okay. What about your personal favorite summer clothing item?

Lizz: Because I'm pregnant right now, it's long oversized dresses. And anything that was a little bit loose before.

Jen: I remember. Four months is so weird, because you're showing but you're not super showing. It's just a really weird time to be pregnant. I almost preferred being eight months pregnant and I was just as big as a house, because then it was like we're obvious at least. Yeah.

Lizz: Yeah.

Jen: At four months, people are like, Is she just eating a lot? It's hard to tell.

Lizz: The answer is, “Yes, I am.”

Jen: Exactly. The answer is positively yes.

Okay, what's your favorite summer location? And it can literally be anywhere—a place, it could be indoors, outdoors, whatever.

Lizz: It's definitely LA. I'm traveling a bunch still. But every time I come back to LA, and seeing obviously my husband and my son and all my friends, it's just so great. And I love Los Angeles.

Jen: That's nice to hear. I'm a person who deeply loves her city too. We've been in Austin for 20 years.

Lizz: Austin is amazing.

Jen: It is amazing.

Lizz: I deeply love your city too.

Jen: I know. Everybody else does. They’re all moving here.

Lizz: Yeah they are.

Jen: I travel for work too. And it will never get old to me flying back in over the city and just, There it is, there she is. So good to be home always.

Lizz: I feel like that's when you know that you're in the right place. Because I never had that when I lived in Philly or New York or Prague. I never felt like, This is where I need to be. And then when I moved to LA, I was like, even though the flight in is so ugly, I was like, This is it.

Jen: I love it.

Lizz: I love it here.

Jen: Okay. Last question. This is a twist on a question we ask all of our podcast guests. But what—and again, this can be big, small, important or not important, funny or silly, whatever you want it to be—but what is saving your life this summer?

Lizz: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Jen: I love her.

Lizz: Yeah. She's everything.

Jen: RBG. She is—

Lizz: Yeah. Glorious.

Jen: You mentioned you were originally interested in politics and political science. Do you still follow pretty closely?

Lizz: Yeah definitely. And a bunch of my friends work in politics in DC. And also, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was my grandma’s hero, who was one of the first lawyers in her state. I feel like my grandma loved Ruth Bader Ginsburg and was super jealous of her.

Jen: That's kinda how I feel about her.

Lizz: Same. Totally.

Jen: Can I be that fierce? Is there any way I'm going to be like that when I'm old? I hope so.

Lizz: Yeah.

Jen: Yeah. That's a great answer. Nobody has ever given me an answer like that. I love it.

Okay. Lizz, thank you so much for your time. I know you're so busy helping to run this company, so thank you for your expertise, all your great suggestions. I'm not a great shopper, and I know a lot of my listeners aren't either. We just get frozen. We just need somebody to give us some great ideas.

Thank you for taking the time to have these ideas at the ready, and for just making close and make women feel beautiful. I'm so grateful as a happy customer. I can tell you that for sure.

Lizz: We're so happy to have you in our community, and thank you so much for having me. Your questions were great, and you're an amazing conversationalist. This was so fun.

Jen: Next time you're in Austin, you know where to find me.

Lizz: I think I'll find you at the store. I think I'll meet you there.

Jen: Exactly. I will meet you at the store, now that I know it exists. Thank you for being on today, Lizz.

Lizz: All right. Thanks so much. Have a great one.
Jen: Okay guys. You'll be the first to hear me say that I was pulling up links as she was mentioning them on the podcast. And I just want to tell Brandon Hatmaker I'm sorry in advance. Just so many cute things.

Okay, I hope you loved Lizz. I like how she talks about fashion and women. No matter really who you are, what your body shape is or type, you're going to find something that you love in their space.

Thanks for joining me today, you guys. This Summer series is raging on. We have some of the really fun guests where we really just wanted to hit on everything we think about or have to think about in the summer. So you're going to want to come back next week. We've got more amazing guests for you guys.

Thanks for being such great listeners. You guys are such maniacs. We are, like, at the 7 million mark on downloads for this podcast. Isn't that insane? We just started last July. We're not even a year old. We're almost a year old. It's just, you're such good listeners. Thank you for being so enthusiastic and so kind to me and to my guests. You're so good to my guests. Thank you for subscribing, thank you for rating, thank you for reviewing. All that matters for a podcast.

So on behalf of my team, Amanda and Laura, we're just grateful to have such a strong listening community. Thanks for being awesome. Okay, you guys, have a fabulous week, and I'll see you next time.